HOW WE VOTE: A look back at 48 years of presidential elections

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By Staff Reports

Twin County localities have collectively voted for the national winner in presidential races 67 percent of the time in 13 elections since 1960.
While Carroll and Grayson counties and Galax have together agreed with the national winner at a rate of two-out of-three during that span, the three localities have had their differences.
Carroll County, for example, has voted for the Republican nominee in every presidential election since 1960. That partisanship led to Carroll voting for the national winner just seven out of 13 times.

Galax has the best local track record of voting for the national winner during the past 52 years — having “been right” 10 out of 13 times.
Grayson County voters went with the winner of the White House 9 out of 13 times.
Collectively, the three areas voted for the presidential winner in 26 of 39 opportunities (three localities multiplied by 13 elections) since 1960, or 67 percent of the time.
Virginia voters sided with the national winner 9 of 13 times (69 percent), including the past three elections.
More often than not, the three local jurisdictions have been carried by the same candidate in recent history. Galax, Carroll and Grayson have voted alike in 10 of the past 13 presidential elections, including the past three (John McCain in 2008, and George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000).
The last variance came in 1996 when Galax voters went for Bill Clinton’s re-election, and voters in the two counties chose Bob Dole.
Voting trends for president since 1960:
In Galax, city voters have backed the Democratic presidential nominee three times, all winners: Clinton in 1996, Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Galaxians have voted with the state winner in 10 of 13 elections. The city last backed the Democrat in 1996.
Carroll County last voted for a Democrat 80 years ago, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was on the ticket in 1932. Since 1896, Carroll has voted Republican in 28 of 29 elections.
Carroll sided with the Virginia statewide winner 10 of 13 times since 1960. The county voted with the state winner 10 consecutive times before missing on Barack Obama in 2008.
Grayson County voters have backed the Republican in eight straight races. The county last went Democratic for president when Carter got 50.3 percent of the vote in 1996. Johnson and Carter were the only Democrats chosen by Grayson voters since 1932.
Grayson has voted with the Virginia winner 11 of the past 13 times.